LittleBigPlanet has disappeared into the dark in recent years, not having the slightest influence it retained on the PlayStation 3 when it was headed by Media Molecule. The mantra of playing, creating, sharing continued to define the generation, and with good reason.
Now Sackboy is back in Sumo Digital’s title platformer which was made to take advantage of the PS5. They don’t dissolve your retinas like Marvel’s brilliant Spider-Man: Miles Morales or the brutally challenging Demon’s Souls, but it remains a charming little adventure full of clever ideas.
Sona has always ensured that every launch of the console is accompanied by an engaged platformer, so this is no different. Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a wonderful adventure that draws you into a world full of surprises, putting the DualSense controller and 3D Audio into creative use on the new console.
Unlike the trilogy of games that inspired it, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a more traditional outing that puts players on a comeback, rather than opting for a level-based approach in five different worlds. You play the role of Sackboy, who must embark on an epic pilgrimage when an evil brain destroys his hometown and kidnaps his friends, enslaving them to rebuild CraftWorld in his image.
It is a playful premise with a minimal amount of threat, which means that young players will be able to jump into this without the care of their parents. After the world is torn apart, Sackboy has the task of restoring his former glory to his homeland by going across the country to stop all the villains in his path. It’s a devastating little opening that pushes you right into the action. Sumo Digital has created a platformer that strictly adheres to genre conventions, which is an approach that definitely benefits it.
Each world is a stellar display of creativity, combining huge environments with all kinds of arts and crafts materials that you would find in an average hobby store. Snow is a mixture of shredded paper and gloss, while all your enemies are a chaotic combination of cardboard, metal and Google eyes that march towards you with untold aggression. They are sent with a simple feeling of slapping or a brave bump on the head, so the world of Sackboy: A Big Adventure never seems too scary.
Cardboard collages of random animals and other creatures will emerge from the background as you explore each level, producing adorable cries of confidence as they cheer you toward the goal. Many levels will take speed into account, forcing you to fight obstacles and mount platforms before falling behind at the frenetic pace of things. The presence of such a stunning artistic direction turns a hectic situation into one that feels bright and lush. Each new stage brought with it a new surprise, even if it was a fairly standard price.
The worlds of the hub range from exotic jungles to planets from another world, which are all visually different and intertwine with mechanics. In the jungle, we found a boomerang that could cut through the fauna to open the way forward, while the galactic world played with gravity for even more unusual jumps and an experimental platform. Personally, our favorite phases are the ones in which you move next to the vehicle, desperately trying to pick up objects and reach the balls before you stay in the dust.
Each level gives you a collection of hidden blue balls that will open the way to new areas, all of which are hidden vile enough that the search for them is a welcome reward. You will also earn a sticker for your troubles that is crammed into beautiful albums when you return to the world of hubs. The levels are short and sweet, which makes diving easy to discover the remnants of good things, and great local multiplayer only makes such a procedure sweeter.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure can be played with up to four different players, and entering the action is possible by simply connecting another DualSense controller and pressing a button. Sumo Digital has allowed each player to customize his clothes and overall look, so there is little chance of getting confused with friends in the middle of the whole action.
Certain levels are designed to have more players in mind, so you need a colleague with a bag next to you to solve puzzles and deal with bad guys. These are engaged small excursions, although they are sporadic enough that those who play alone will not have the feeling of missing out. Couch-co-op is not common nowadays, so it is nice to see that the title of the next generation is so openly accepted.
The undeniable highlight of this platformer are the great music levels. Taking the obvious sign from Rayman Legends, these stages are entirely based on a particular song. Bruno Mars’s Uptown Funk and Kool and The Gang’s Jungle Boogie are two early examples, and they’re positively great. Surfaces on which you can mount pop from the ground along with the rhythm, while the lyrics evoke a cacophony of characters squirming from the carpentry with non-parallel exhilaration.
The musical phases are few, so when they come to the surface, it’s like an incomparable treat. One of our only complaints is that those looking for items to collect will outlive the lyrics of each song for a long time, and they only get back into rhythm when you arrive at the checkpoint. As a result, you will clumsily jump on the instrumental track, instead of jumping on some striking vocals. It’s a strange pity for the rhythm, but the higher moments still managed to rise above our wildest expectations.
The gender binary system has no control over Sackboy, a feeling that is expressed through a nuanced system of adjustment. Similar to LittleBigPlanet, various garments, fabrics and other accessories can be found on each level. Once unlocked, you can visit the vendor and mix things however you want. Each hub world has its own set of themed costumes to shop for, or you can throw the convention through the wind and dress however you want. We opted for Little Red Riding Hood with a bull’s tail and a tiger’s eye. We were on a picnic, but we could always beat you up if we needed to.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is the perfect title for PS5. It is beautiful, experimental and accessible to all player manners. Despite its light nature, there is still a solid platformer here that is absolutely full of smart ideas. It’s a whimsical thing that checks out all the boxes you’d expect, adding a decent dose of surprise to the mix, which was more than enough to keep our attention while choosing tempting worlds.
Even after all these years, nothing is better than posing for a picture at the end of each level, while Sackboy lets out a creepy smile with a trophy in his hand. It turned out to be one of the best ways for Sony to launch a new generation by christening its console with a platformer that reminds us of where it has been and how far it has come.
- A cute and charming platform to introduce the PS5
- Great fun both alone and with friends next to you
- Huge amount of design levels in many worlds
- Music levels are a great mix of rhythm and platformer
- Pretty pedestrian attitude towards the genre
- Overpowering whimsy will not be for everyone
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Source: ITNetwork by www.itnetwork.rs.
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